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Upgrading Audio: OEM Audio+ Buyer’s Remorse?

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010-2024)' started by TCU_Frog13, Mar 27, 2023.

  1. Mar 27, 2023 at 6:34 PM
    #1
    TCU_Frog13

    TCU_Frog13 [OP] New Member

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    So after going down more than a few rabbit holes on the best way to upgrade the full audio—man it’s muddy and garbled—of my new (to me) ‘21 SR5P, I got overwhelmed and said screw it, I’ll do the OEM audio+ reference 500 system because it’s plug and play and the custom sub box. I have zero install experience and idk that I’ll even take on install by myself, so second guessing my choice and the 30-day lead now. I also looked at the Trail Grid Pro Kicker bundle, and would still need to select a sub + amp/dsp so unsure what to go with there.


    Anyone here have rec for a full audio upgrade (front/dash component speakers, rear, tailgate speakers, hide-able powered or custom sub/box, plus amp—keeping stock HU) that produces a similar sound quality upgrade for ~$1300-1500, I’m assuming $500-700 for install? I’ve combed through other threads here and on Reddit, etc. but curious for some new perspective on what you’ve tried/experienced.
     
  2. Mar 27, 2023 at 6:48 PM
    #2
    whippersnapper02

    whippersnapper02 New Member

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    I have the OEM Audio full system and overall I’m happy but wish there was more bass overhead. I first purchased the single sub system with the word of mouth opportunity to purchase the 2nd sub when it was ready. Well that never happened and had to kind of work for it. I eventually got it and I’m happier but still I want more however I’m fully invested in the OEM Audio system so I stuck with it. There’s now the JL Stealthbox and Latoyrunner box that’s the same (I think JL copied his box). I wouldn’t know where to put the amp though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2023
    TCU_Frog13[OP] likes this.
  3. Mar 27, 2023 at 7:08 PM
    #3
    TCU_Frog13

    TCU_Frog13 [OP] New Member

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    Thanks-yeah the reviews/feedback on OEM is largely overwhelming but I have seen commentary about the bass. Not looking to rattle windows, but I do listen to a lot of hip hop and metal.

    I used Crutchfield and tossed the JL stealth box and a setup of speakers (Kicker CS Series components, Rockfords for the rear and tailgate)+ amp (Kenwood 4-channel) in the cart and it came out to equal/more expensive than the OEM system.

    if the JL Stealthbox is going to noticeably blow the OEM setup out of the water though…
     
  4. Mar 29, 2023 at 1:58 PM
    #4
    MAXIM

    MAXIM New Member

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    You are the first person I've seen using those two in the same sentence let alone listening to both.
     
  5. Mar 29, 2023 at 2:21 PM
    #5
    Henry J

    Henry J Crap…crap crap crap crap…crap

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    Really?

    I listen to it all except Mumble Rap and Avant-garde Jazz.
     
    WTW15 and whippersnapper02 like this.
  6. Mar 29, 2023 at 2:26 PM
    #6
    whippersnapper02

    whippersnapper02 New Member

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    Sometimes some Fatboys or LL follows Pantera. :rockband:
     
  7. Mar 29, 2023 at 3:02 PM
    #7
    TCU_Frog13

    TCU_Frog13 [OP] New Member

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    Sounds like you should broaden the horizons of your musical acquaintances, ha. I listen to a lot more than those two genres as well, but those are most frequently going in my vehicle.
     
    b0bbyj0hnny, anthonydotb and Tama1968 like this.
  8. Mar 29, 2023 at 3:03 PM
    #8
    TCU_Frog13

    TCU_Frog13 [OP] New Member

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    frowning in Thelonious Monk over here.
     
    Accelerator likes this.
  9. Mar 29, 2023 at 3:04 PM
    #9
    Henry J

    Henry J Crap…crap crap crap crap…crap

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    I know, I know. I love early Coltrane but I just cant do it man, I’ve tried:(
     
  10. Mar 29, 2023 at 3:21 PM
    #10
    Tama1968

    Tama1968 New Member

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    yeah...have an all over the place playlist thanks to Spotify and having two sons...Led Zeppelin (i'm in my 50's...) to Duran Duran, chased with some Motionless in White and 21 Savage. If it's good, it's good, doesn't matter what style or when it was made.
    And I'm just now jumping in on trying to upgrade my Runner a little....about to drop some Infinity Reference tweeters in the dash.
     
  11. Mar 29, 2023 at 4:25 PM
    #11
    jasonmcelroy

    jasonmcelroy Recovering perfectionist

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    I have dwelled in the aforementioned rabbit hole for the last year in search of decent sound (notice I did not say excellent sound) from the stock HU.

    Have been a musician and done sound support (events, mixing, amplification, etc) on and off for over thirty years. Not a professional, not a genius, but I have good ears and can EQ a room.

    Been through a few sets of speakers, two amps (w/DSP), many tuning sessions . . . to arrive at "meh" level results that have me wishing I'd just started with new HU.

    The stock HU puts out a shit signal. It's undeniable. You can only do so much to improve it . . . can't adjust what isn't there.

    Have no experience with OEM Audio so won't comment on their offering.

    I will advise anyone chasing decent sound based on a stock HU to not bother. It's an exercise in time and frustration.

    Jason
     
  12. Mar 29, 2023 at 5:47 PM
    #12
    TCU_Frog13

    TCU_Frog13 [OP] New Member

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    Yeah, I definitely keep hearing that PoV frequently, and I realize that an aftermarket HU is definitely going to put out more wattage, but I honestly like the integration of the factory setup. TBH, I haven’t found a solid aftermarket HU that doesn’t add huge panels to either side of the installed screen, or doesn’t stick out like an iPad mini and block vents. I have seen many people put in a T10, a Phoenix Auto solution or something similar and I’m also not crazy about putting in a random android tablet either.

    For me to consider an aftermarket HU, it’d need to pretty seamlessly fit into the din/infotainment space, allow full integration with factory components (steering wheel controls, USB), and provide a noticeable and significant assist on the sound stage.

    Do you have any HU recommendations based on your experience down the rabbit holes?
     
    Spare Parts likes this.
  13. Mar 29, 2023 at 6:26 PM
    #13
    Magnetto

    Magnetto New Member

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    New member and first post so be gentle lol

    Personally I upgraded to the Dasaita T10 and have been very satisfied with it. Next month will be 2 years since installing and have zero issues with it. I use ApplePlay with Bluetooth and never have any issues connecting or staying connected. I did upgrade the speakers last month to the TrailGridPro Kicker bundle and it’s like night and day vs the factory non-JBL system that was in it. This is my 3rd 4runner (99,04, and current 17) and was surprised how cheap the speakers are in a vehicle with such a high price tag. I also recently added the Kicker PT250 subwoofer which adds the extra bass but will probably take it back out because not sure if I’m liking the way it just sits in the back. I may look into an amplified sub to go under the passenger seat. IMO any speaker upgrade will make the world of difference on the non-JBL models.
     
  14. Mar 29, 2023 at 6:36 PM
    #14
    08TXRunner

    08TXRunner New Member

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    There are posts going back to the summer of 2020 detailing the whole aftermarket makeover.
     
  15. Mar 29, 2023 at 6:52 PM
    #15
    Accelerator

    Accelerator New Member

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    I follow these threads fairly closely as a music fan and as someone who needs music playing within 5 mins of starting up. If I’m rolling, music is playing, period. I’m ok with the factory sound but planning an upgrade within the next 6-12 months. I like what I have but I know I need more.

    That being said, I vacillate between a total upgrade (HU + speakers $2000+) and just a speaker upgrade such as OEM Audio + ($750). I haven’t been sold on any solution yet as so much is subjective. In the mean time, I will follow these threads as long as I can until I figure out what I want to do.

    For arguments sake, I’ll post a bit of a varied play list in response to the responses re: hip hop & metal. —>

    80’s punk rocker at heart so I’ll start with
    Minor Threat
    7 Seconds
    Black Flag
    Descendants
    Gang Green
    TSOL
    Social D
    Circle Jerks
    Bad Brains
    Rollins Band
    Misfits
    Murphy’s Law
    All
    Faction
    Damned
    SNFU
    Bad Religion

    Mix all of those within a daily playlist that includes the following:
    Barry White
    Afghan Whigs
    Dinosaur Jr
    Taj Mahal
    Sly & Robbie
    Sonic Youth
    Mission of Burma
    Supersuckers
    Buckethead
    Mother Hips
    Pink Floyd
    Drivin n Cryin
    Abba
    Big Bopper
    Doors
    Dion
    Gerry Rafferty
    Gene Clark
    CCR
    Smiths
    Killing Joke
    At the Drive In

    and many others not to mention metal
    Death
    Mastodon
    Kvelertak
    Volbeat
    Clutch
    King Diamond
    Iron Maiden
    Emperor
    ASG
    Nachtmystium

    You get the drift. Lots of music, lots of different sounds/styles. I think we all agree that the factory sound system is at the very least…lacking.

    So in summary, I feel everyone’s pain, but I have yet to find a definitive solution. Hence, I will continue to follow this thread as well as many others in the hopes that one day I can find a simple and easy solution to this dilemma.
     
    WTW15, Steely123, b0bbyj0hnny and 2 others like this.
  16. Mar 29, 2023 at 7:04 PM
    #16
    TCU_Frog13

    TCU_Frog13 [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for the insight, this is great to know. When looking at the Dasaita site, they only list compatible 4Runner years up to 2019. I wonder if the updated infotainment Toyota introduced in ‘20+ render that T10 (or the Vivid 11) option out of scope for my ‘21 SR5P.
    I will say, that face is probably the closest best fit I’ve seen-does it really fit into the flow of your console/infotainment that seamlessly?
     
  17. Mar 29, 2023 at 7:09 PM
    #17
    TCU_Frog13

    TCU_Frog13 [OP] New Member

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    and yet I have yet to find a thread with any kind of direct comparison of the OEM Audio+ system to a “build your own” of comparable cost…mostly OEM Audio+ is amazing, or you need to spend $3-5k to even build a system worth listening to ‍♂️
     
  18. Mar 29, 2023 at 7:12 PM
    #18
    TCU_Frog13

    TCU_Frog13 [OP] New Member

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    the lack of definitive answer has me currently planning to stick with the OEM Reference 500 setup I ordered, but I’m also considering adding a new HU down the line if I find a good fit for my style that’s not a drastic departure from the OEM setup…
     
    Accelerator[QUOTED] likes this.
  19. Mar 29, 2023 at 7:17 PM
    #19
    toyotahenry

    toyotahenry New Member

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    i love the JL AUDIO STEALTHBOX idea.. HOWEVER $1500.00 is a hard pill to f*cking swallow if i'm being totally honest
     
    Accelerator and TCU_Frog13[OP] like this.
  20. Mar 29, 2023 at 7:34 PM
    #20
    TCU_Frog13

    TCU_Frog13 [OP] New Member

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    Right? I priced out a cart on Crutchfield with the JL Stealthbox…with a set of ‘solid’ speakers based on other 4Runner recs, an amp, DSP, it was already $2200, without install or a dedicated sub amp or a HU. I’m afraid going that route, with install, would be $1k more than the OEM Audio+ system.
     
  21. Mar 30, 2023 at 10:30 AM
    #21
    Spare Parts

    Spare Parts New Member

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    I am trying to place an order for just speakers, I am not currently willing to change the HU, and I am looking for smaller investment than what the new HU and/or amp will take. I was just checking out OEM plus, as it says plug and play. However the install video looks like you need to run some wiring. And the speaker package looks like the tweeters are 4 ohms, while the 6 other speakers are 2 ohms. I understand that the rear doors and hatch should be 2 ohms, but why would they have the front door using 2 ohms?

    Oh and on the recent listening thing, I recently discovered a band from the Austin in the 90's, anyone else familiar with

    https://youtu.be/3M8p_8lq2GQ
     
  22. Mar 30, 2023 at 1:45 PM
    #22
    Zaphod

    Zaphod New Member

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    I intend to swap out all my speakers at some point. Eventually I'll also get rid of the T9 HU and replace it with a reliable name brand.

    As others have mentioned here, I looked at OEM+ and TrailGridPro, but just today I looked at Crutchfield again (my dad was a customer of theirs way back in the 70's, and I carried on the tradition), and I can swap out all 8 speakers with top-rated models for less than $375, AND not have to run a single wire. The price includes the speakers, the install kits, foam housings, and shipping.

    With apologies to OEM+ and TGP, that price just blows them both out of the water, and it includes Crutchfield's legendary customer service which I can attest to from personal experience.
     
    CygnusX-4 and WhenInRome618 like this.
  23. Mar 30, 2023 at 1:53 PM
    #23
    anthonydotb

    anthonydotb ig: @phantom.rnr

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    Link? Or can you share which speakers you're looking at? I've been toying around with the idea of swapping my non-jbl speakers. I just learned about the kicker speakers last week and those had my attention. The stock speakers look and sound like they were made out of an old cereal box.

    I'm still toying around with the idea of an aftermarket head unit. I like the way the Dasaita and the t10v3 look, but I don't really know much about their overall performance and reliability. I don't want to cripple my glorious Japanese built reliable beast of a truck with a Chinese throw away radio. I hope that doesn't sound bad.
     
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  24. Mar 30, 2023 at 1:55 PM
    #24
    TCU_Frog13

    TCU_Frog13 [OP] New Member

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    I think the speakers are pretty much straight up plug and play, but the sub/amp/dsp require some harnessing and routing wires to the head unit as there’s no existing connection for that hardware in the stock system. Not sure about your question re: ohm differences.
     
    Spare Parts[QUOTED] likes this.
  25. Mar 30, 2023 at 1:58 PM
    #25
    TCU_Frog13

    TCU_Frog13 [OP] New Member

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    agree with all of this, I don’t wanna throw a random android tablet in there as my head unit either. I researched the kicker bundle from TGP, but I ultimately wanted a sub too and they didn’t have a solid rec other than to look at kicker subs elsewhere.
     
  26. Mar 30, 2023 at 1:59 PM
    #26
    TCU_Frog13

    TCU_Frog13 [OP] New Member

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    what speakers did you price out on Crutchfield? Obviously you can find something cheaper that route but I’d argue that a comparable whole system would cost more ultimately based on what I’ve seen.
     
  27. Mar 30, 2023 at 2:06 PM
    #27
    whippersnapper02

    whippersnapper02 New Member

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  28. Mar 30, 2023 at 2:23 PM
    #28
    Daddykool

    Daddykool Photography enthusiast

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    It's interesting to read comments where guys are so into the sound quality that they'll spend good money and effort on it. I do recall that the same things were important to me, but in my home system, not so much in the car. My last car stereo upgrade was a $300 alpine system in my Corolla in 1983, which was promptly stolen within weeks. Someone probably dug the carbon out of the trash. I still have my JVC/Kenwood/Bose home system from from 40+ years ago. Probably sounds better than most systems today, and I never use it.
     
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  29. Mar 30, 2023 at 2:43 PM
    #29
    TCU_Frog13

    TCU_Frog13 [OP] New Member

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    Full disclosure, this will be the first aftermarket car audio I’ve put in one of my cars since high school (20 years), and it’s wild to see what’s changed (and what hasn’t) since then. I also like good sound at home and have outfitted my home with Sonos everywhere (two 5’s, three 1s, Arc soundbar and sub), so I guess my love for good sound and seamless design extend to the car too.
     
    Daddykool[QUOTED] likes this.
  30. Mar 30, 2023 at 5:10 PM
    #30
    Daddykool

    Daddykool Photography enthusiast

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    I get you. I simply don’t have much opportunity to sit and listen to good music anymore. Kinda miss that. As for the car audio, something else always seems to need those dollars.
     

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